Panaji: Schools in Goa will now get one bag of packaged milk free for every 100 empty plastic milk pouches they collect, according to a green scheme launched by the state's biggest milk producer in a pioneering measure to raise environmental consciousness .
The initiative would help rid of empty milk bags that otherwise clog drains and are difficult to dispose of, said a top official of Goa Dairy, a milk cooperative based in Ponda, 30 km from here, that produces over 60,000 litres of milk every day.
"It is our effort to keep the environment clean. We pack milk in thousands of bags every day. This initiative will ensure that the bags come back to us so that they are scientifically disposed of," Goa Dairy managing director N.C. Sawant told IANS.
The scheme had been introduced in schools, said Sawant, because students could also be involved in the process of collecting empty bags from their respective homes and they too could take a green lesson from the exercise.
"This scheme is for schools only. We have already prepared and sent appeal letters to schools so that they can tell their students," Sawant said, adding it was a part of the dairy's waste management scheme.
"Today plastic degradation is a burning issue faced by all of us and as such we appeal to all the educational institutions to support us in making Goa a plastic-free state," the letter says.
"The milk packets will be collected by Goa Diary once a month from the school. Equivalent to the cost of milk packets, any products of Goa Dairy will be delivered to school as per the need during school events," it further says.
"The packets of milk earned in exchange for the empty bags would be provided to the school on a prescheduled day or when the school holds its events," Sawant said.
Garbage disposal has been one of the major issues in Goa of late. The state government is considering emulating the garbage management system in the German town of Kaiserslautern to rid the garbage menace here.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)